Anatomy Of a Loss: Scenes From a World Series

November 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

During the course of a series, there are always a few plays that spell the difference between drinking champagne and drinking to forget. Here is a look back at four pivotal sequences that helped the New York Yankees win the 2009 World Series.

Game Three, bottom of the second inning

With one out and a 1-0 lead, the Phillies loaded the bases against Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. Here was a chance to bust the game open and knock Pettitte out early. Jimmy Rollins walked to make it 2-0. So far, so good.

But Shane Victorino swung at the first two pitches in the dirt. Chase Utley then struck out swinging to end the inning. The Phils put three on the board, but failed to deliver the knockout punch. 

Game Three, top of the fourth

With one out, Cole Hamels came unraveled after a questionable ball four to Mark Teixeira. Two pitches later, Alex Rodriguez homered off a FOX Sports camera; a hit that would’ve been a double a year-and-a-half earlier in that now quaint pre-replay era. Hamels got out of the inning, but wasn’t the same.

Five of the six batters he faced in the fifth reached base, including Pettitte who picked up a rare RBI. It was Hamels, not Pettitte who met an early shower giving up five runs in four and one-third, one year after winning the World Series MVP award.

Game Four, top of the ninth 

After Pedro Feliz’s two-out solo home run tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, it seemed like the Phillies were going to knot the series at two games apiece. Closer Brad Lidge came on to preserve the tie. 

With two outs, Johnny Damon singled. No big deal it seemed, but then the type of calamity that seems to only befall the Phillies happened. Because of a defensive shift, third baseman Feliz ran to cover second on Damon’s attempted steal. Damon was safe and noticing the vacant third base, kept running. Neither catcher Carlos Ruiz nor Lidge thought to cover the bag.

With Damon on third, Lidge may have been reluctant to use his nasty slider for the fear of a wild pitch scoring Damon. Instead, after plunking Teixeira, Lidge threw a fastball to Rodriguez who doubled and in the process, created the moment that will top all his highlight reels for eternity. That’s something that Phillies fans will have to live with like having the most losses in the history of professional sports.

Jorge Posada singled, extending the lead to third. Mariano Rivera, who would not have been pitching in a tied bottom of the ninth, threw a one-two-three inning. What seemed like an inevitable Phils win, turned into a 3-1 Yankees series lead.

Game Six, bottom of the third

After halving the Yankees lead to 2-1 in the top of the frame, the Phillies were looking for a shutdown inning from Pedro Martinez. Derek Jeter hit what appeared to be the second out, only Victorino misjudged the ball and trapped it for a single. After a Damon walk and a Teixeira hit-by-pitch, Martinez struck out Rodriguez. That should’ve been the end of the inning. But with the extra out created by Victorino’s fielding, Hideki Matsui hit a two-run single, RBIs three and four of ultimately a six RBI night.

And now, just like that, the season is over. Johnny Damon’s back-to-back swipes will take their rightful place in Phillies ignominy alongside 1964, Black Friday, and 15-14. For the Yankees, it’s World Series title No. 27, for the Phillies, it’s wait until last year.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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